Fall 2015 Department Newsletter

2014 Forensic Sciences Department NewsletterTo view the full Fall 2015 Forensic Sciences Department Newsletter, click on the thumbnail to the right. For a sampling of individual feature stories and department updates, click on the links below.

Faculty News
Class Notes

 


Faculty News

Ira Lurie received the Paul L. Kirk Award, the highest honor awarded in the criminalistics section of the American Academy of Forensic SciencesPublications by Ira Laurie and Ioan Marginean
Among the recent publications by Ira S. Lurie, research professor of forensic sciences, and Ioan Marginean,  assistant professor of forensic sciences, are:

Ira S. Lurie (PI), “The Utility of Ultra High Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography for the Analysis of Seized Drugs: Application to Synthetic Cannabinoids and Bath Salts.” NIJ award #2014-R2-CX-K009, $292,808.

Ioan Marginean, Walter F. Rowe, Ira S. Lurie, “The role of ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography with time of flight detection for the identification of synthetic cannabinoids in seized drugs,” Forensic Science International 249:83-91, 2015.

Photo: Ira Lurie received the Paul L. Kirk Award, the highest honor awarded in the criminalistics section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Walter Rowe Highlights
Walter Rowe with Mehdi Moini and Ioan MargineanProfessor Walter Rowe has completed a chapter on chemistry in firearms examination which will appear in the forthcoming book Forensic Chemistry: Fundamentals and Applications, edited by Jay Seigel. Professor Rowe was also a co-author of “The role of ultra high performance liquid chromatography with time of flight detection for the identification of synthetic cannabinoids in seized drugs” (with Ioan Marginean and Ira S. Lurie) Forensic Science International, 249, 83-91 (2015).

Professor Rowe was an invited guest of the OSAC trace evidence subcommittee at its inaugural meeting in January 2015. He is working with two task groups of that subcommittee, one on outreach to crime scene investigators and attorneys and the other on standards for training of pressure sensitive tape examiners.

He attended the meeting of the ASTM e30 and the AAFS annual meeting in Orlando in February. Professor Rowe had an oral presentation and a poster presentation at the AAFS meeting:

  • “Implementing Independent Research Projects in a Graduate Forensic Science Degree Program” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Orlando, Fla., February 16-21, 2015.
  • “Forensic Examination of Oriented Polymer Films: Polarized Light Examinations of Packaging and Shipping Tapes” (with Karen Brensinger) poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Orlando, Fla., February 16-21, 2015.

Professor Rowe was also a co-author on two other presentations at the AAFS meeting:

  • “The Utility of Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography With Time-of-Flight Detection for the Identification of Synthetic Cannabinoids: Part I — The Role of the Separation Technique” (with Ioan Marginean and Ira S. Lurie) paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Orlando, Fla., February 16-21, 2015.
  • “The Utility of Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography With Time-of-Flight Detection for the Identification of Synthetic Cannabinoids: Part II — The Role of the Detection Technique” (with Ioan Marginean and Ira S. Lurie) paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Orlando, Fla., February 16-21, 2015.

Student Karen Brensinger poster presentation. “Forensic Examination of Oriented Polymer Films: Polarized Light Examinations of Packaging and Shipping Tapes”

At the February 2015 AAFS meeting Professor Rowe was named to the ad hoc committee considering having AAFS develop its own standards developing organization. He also started his two-year term as president of the Council of Forensic Science Educators.

In May, Professor Rowe also presented his paper “Forensic Examination of Oriented Polymer Films: Polarized Light Examinations of Packaging and Shipping Tapes” (with Karen Brensinger) at the annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists in Cambridge, Md.

Photo 1: Walter Rowe with Mehdi Moini and Ioan Marginean
Photo 2: Student Karen Brensinger poster presentation. “Forensic Examination of Oriented Polymer Films: Polarized Light Examinations of Packaging and Shipping Tapes”

Moses Schanfield
Professor Moses Schanfield was involved with the planning for the  9th International Society of Applied Biological Sciences meeting on anthropological and forensic genetics and individualized medicine on the Island of Brac, Croatia.

Professor Schanfield submitted and received (with Professor Weedn) a National Science Foundation (NSF) planning grant for an Industry/University Collaborative Research Center site grant. The planning meeting was held in July with Florida International University at the new Science Engineering Hall. Preparation for a Phase 1 grant are underway.

Professor Schanfield  presented a paper at the American Association of Physical Anthropology meeting on “Evidence for selection in human populations for Black/Dark Brown hair color using Phenotype Informative Markers” with Katherine Gettings and Daniele Podini. This was an extension of the research funded by NIJ on ancestry informative and phenotype informative markers.

He hosted three undergraduates from Brazil over the summer, testing immunoglobulin genetic markers on 700 South American Indians to generate additional data supporting data originally presented in 1992 on the idea that there were two founding populations of American Indians rather than just one. The data has been submitted as an abstract to the American Association of Physical Anthropology meeting for presentation in 2016.

Professor Schanfield attended the International Educational Outreach Program (IEOP) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in June 2015 to study forensic sciences in Croatia. The IEOP terminated at the beginning of the 9th International Society of Applied Biological Sciences meeting on anthropological and forensic genetics and individualized medicine on the Island of Brac, Croatia. Professor Schanfield is a permanent member of the organizing committee of that meeting.

Professor Schanfield will be on sabbatical for six months starting in January and will work on the I/UCRC grant application, finishing the South American Indian project and writing articles.

Mehdi Moini
Two of Professor Mehdi Moini’s proposals were funded during this year. The first was a NSF International Collaboration with the National University of Singapore. The purpose of this project was to study the effect of proton bombardment on proteinaceous specimens. Proton beams are now routinely used in medicine for proton therapy and in museums to analyze cultural heritage materials; however, the side effects of proton bombardment on proteinaceous specimens are not fully investigated. This summer forensics student Christopher Rollman and Professor Moini traveled to Singapore and analyzed several proteinaceous. They were also successful in securing funding for a trip to China to study the aging mechanism of silk. This proposal was funded by the Confucius Institute at GW.

Edward Robinson
This last year has mostly been consumed by the 3rd Edition revision of his book, Crime Scene Photography.  This book is used for his course on Photography in the Forensic Sciences.  This text is also required reading by those wishing to become certified by the International Association for Identification Crime Scene Certification Board and the IAI's Forensic Photography Certification Board.

Since the summer of 2015, he has also created two new Graduate Certificates, one in Latent Print Examination and one in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.  And, there were two new Master of Science Degrees created in Friction Ridge Analysis, one for students wishing to strive for jobs in Federal Laboratories, and one for students interested in State, County and Local Forensic Laboratories.

Eva Vincze
Professor Eva Vincze provided two outreach presentations for students from national and local high schools: The Youth Leadership Forum in Chantilly, Va., an annual national forum with brings students from all over the country into D.C. to learn about government, legal and forensic science careers; and the 9th Annual Science Technology and Engineering Day at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, a similar event for local high school students from Loudon County.

Professor Vincze submitted an article entitled "Law Enforcement Challenges in Digital Forensics" for publication in a special edition of Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, to be published in summer 2016.

Professor Vincze also began the development of a new graduate certificate in digital investigations. This 18-credit certificate is designed for IT professionals who wish to develop knowledge and skills in the specialty areas of digital forensics and incident response. It is pending approval by the university.

Lindsey Marie Ferris CSI PrizeDale Rio, MS ’15, and The Lindsey Marie Ferris CSI Prize
The Lindsey Marie Ferris CSI Prize, along with its award of $1000, went to Dale Rio, MS ’15. The award is presented to the CSI student with strengths in academics and research each year.

Photo: Dale Rio, MS ’15, and The Lindsey Marie Ferris CSI Prize

 

 

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Class Notes

Isabella Black, BS ’13, MS ’14, after graduating in 2014 from the five-year BS/MFS Forensic Chemistry Program, is currently employed as a forensic scientist for the Massachusetts State Police Forensic Services Group. Thank you GW for giving Isabella such a great education to pursue her career!

Julie Burrill, MS ’11, is still in D.C. working as the staff forensic scientist for the Public Defender Service. She loves her job; describing it as a fascinating, if somewhat unusual, application of her MFS in forensic molecular biology.

Mariel Candelario, MS ’06, started working for the Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico as a forensic DNA analyst in 2006. Currently, she is the state CODIS administrator for Puerto Rico and has been since September 2012.

George Chang, BS ’82, MS ’86, after earning an MS in chemical toxicology, worked in environmental toxicology consulting for one year, then went to medical school and became a urologist. He is now practicing in Washington, D.C.

Cassandra Clyde, MS ’15, accepted a permanent, full-time position in the forensic toxicology laboratory at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office in Cleveland, Ohio, as a forensic scientist 1 in fall 2015.

Patrick Connor, MS ’03, retired from the U.S. Army after 24 years, with his last 12 as a forensic science officer. He now works for the Food and Drug Administration investigating violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Carolyn Fernan (Graves), MS ’97, has been employed as a firearm and toolmark examiner at the Corpus Christi Texas Police Department for 13 years.

Wesley Grose, MS ’84, is currently the crime laboratory director for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. His laboratory is the largest full service, fully ISO 17025 accredited municipal crime lab in the United States.

Rachel Korykora, MS ’15, after earning her degree in Forensic Chemistry, is currently employed at DC Department of Forensic Sciences.

Thomas Mauriello, MS ’76, is a retired special agent with the U.S. Department of Defense. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice for the past 38 years, and CEO and forensic consultant for ForensIQ, Inc.

Jeff Miller, MS ’99, retired from the Fairfax County Police Department in 2006. He worked for a number of defense contractors at the FBI lab, the USACIL, the DoD and the DIA. He stopped teaching at GW back in 2011, however, he is currently working to come back to GW.

Jennifer Regalia, MS ’03, is currently working at the U.S. Army Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory in Ft. Meade, Md. She notes it is truly rewarding to use her forensic science skills and abilities to help ensure the health, safety and security of our Army soldiers.

Molly Richardson, MS ’15, is currently working as a forensic scientist in Salt Lake City for the Utah Department of Public Safety. She is working towards completing her DNA training and helping with validations in the crime lab.

Emily Russ, MS ’98, following graduation from GW, graduated from the Wake Forest Physician Assistant Program in 2003. She is currently work on a psychiatric forensic unit at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah as a physician assistant.

Joseph Serowik, MS ’87, is a high school science teacher at Richmond Heights Secondary School. He teaches classes in biology, chemistry, environmental science and forensic science.

J. Stuart Showalter, MS ’77, has retired from employee status after years of advising healthcare organizations. He now resides in San Diego, Calif., where he is working on the eight edition of his textbook, The Law of Healthcare Administration, and serves as contributing editor to the Healthcare Financial Management Association's Legal & Regulatory Forum.

Melissa Stangroom (LoStracco), MS ’95, transitioned from the crime laboratory to being a genetic analysis solutions representative with Thermo Fisher Scientific (formally AB/ Life Technologies). She supports instrumentation used in the forensic, research and clinical space.

Thuy Truc To, MS ’15, is living in Northern Virginia with her family. She is currently an information security specialist at eVigilant Security on a government client contract doing computer security incident management.

Aaron Ullman, MS ’14, lives in a northern suburb of Philadelphia where he was just hired to work in a forensics lab. He works for NMS Labs as a forensic chemist in their drug identification department.

Derek Walley, MS ’00, is so glad he got his degree from GW in forensic science. He is currently a math teacher with the most amazing 4-year-old daughter ever.

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